Skip to main content

Using Passphrases to Create a Strong Password

Passwords are the first layer of security when protecting your account. If a password is easy to guess, any cybercriminal can quickly access your account and steal your information. Strong, unique passwords may be difficult to remember, causing frustration when trying to log in. To secure your account without having to remember a combination of randomly generated characters, opt to use a passphrase instead.

Passphrases use an entire phrase or sentence in place of a password. The phrase should be meaningful to you and something only you know, which makes it easier to memorize. Because passphrases are unique, they require memory techniques to decode which makes it difficult for others to guess.
A strong passphrase is long and complex. It should use a combination of letters in both upper and lower case, numbers, and special characters (such as @, #, $, etc.). Avoid using any letter series in alphabetical order (ABCDEF) and any number series in numerical order (123456), as these are some of the most common traits found in passwords. You should also avoid using any popular phrases, quotations, and song lyrics, as these can make it easy for others to access your account. 

When creating a passphrase, consider what is personal to you. If there is something you enjoy or treasure, find a way to incorporate it into your phrase. Likewise, if there is an uplifting message or affirmation you want to be reminded of each time you log in, use part of it in your phrase. A passphrase should be personal to you, so the more unique, the better.

Consider the password “security123”. At a simple glance, it is apparent that this is a weak password because of its simplicity and use of the numeric pattern. If it is turned into the passphrase “ILiketoLearn@boutSecurity2Day!” or “I Like to Learn @bout Security 2Day!”, it is more secure because of its length, unique phrasing, and use of special characters in place of letters. 

Protect your accounts by using passphrases. Unique and meaningful to you but difficult for others to guess, passphrases are a key step to securing yourself in the digital ecosystem.